How Long Do Citadel Warhammer Paints Take to Dry?

how long do warhammer citadel paints take to dry

Painting your Warhammer miniatures can be a daunting task, especially if you are painting a whole army. A common question amongst hobbyists is how long do Citadel Warhammer paints take to dry?

The general rule is that most washes and acrylic paints you apply to your models will take approximately 10-30 minutes to dry, depending on the thickness with which you apply your miniatures. 

It is also often recommended to let your paints dry slightly longer than that if you are planning on applying multiple layers on top. This would be particularly of note when applying black or white base layers to your different models.

What Is the Fastest Way to Dry the Paint?

There are other factors than can massively influence the drying times of your miniatures – for example it is recommended to have an AC unit if possible operating in the room you paint in to aid drying times. 

It is also worth considering the size and intricacy of your models. Larger and more detailed pieces (consider some of the heftier brood monsters in the tyrranid range of models) will naturally take a lot longer than some simple Imperium of Man miniatures. 

When painting these more substantial pieces, you will likely be looking at an hour or two of drying time (again varying based on the thickness of your coats of paint).

The key to optimizing your paint drying times is meticulously controlling the ambient temperature and light of the drying area. This can be done with different windows (double hung awning windows work well for this) that increase airflow, ventilation, and light exposure.

Some hobbyists also recommend the use of small hydrogen lamps in a relative proximity to the drying models. 

By placing them nearby your drying models, you can lightly increase the temperature in the surrounding area. This works like the heat lamps that basking domesticated lizards use to heat themselves.

But much like basking lizards, you need to be careful with hydrogen lamps near your models. Lizards can’t be right next to their lamps, or they will burn. Similarly, your models need to be moved so that they do not stand directly next to the lamp.

Direct contact to the heat and light of the lamb can damage your models and paint, but if used sparingly in a decent proximity to the models it should decrease your drying time by several magnitudes. 

Do Citadel Paints Dry Out?

Citadel paints are incredibly expensive. The official paints of Warhammer Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40K can be marked up at an unusually high premium due to Games Workshop’s monopoly over the sci-fi and fantasy wargame markets. 

They are also, however, exceptionally well-made paints, with some beautiful, vibrant colors that really add to the overwhelming verisimilitude of Games Workshop’s fantastic models. 

The problem with Citadel paints, according to a lot of different sources in the wargaming hobbyist community, is that they do dry out too quickly. 

Older users of Citadel paints may also find that paints with hexagonal screw lids dry out quicker than the newer screw top models that are in use nowadays. 

A good test to see if your paints have dried is to stick a matchstick inside. If the paint has its usual, thin consistency, then you are fine. If the paint has taken on a putty or claylike consistency, then the paints have dried.

Do not fret if this is the case – they can still be saved!

How Do You Fix Dried Citadel Paint?

If you want to fix your old, dried Citadel paint, then the process is not as complex as you might think.

  1. Using the test matchstick, stab some holes into the puttylike paint. Close over the lid tightly, then vigorously shakes the pot. 
  2. Open the lid and add four drops of water from a pipette. Stir the paint with the matchstick – then close the lid and shake once more.
  3. Repeat this previous step exactly, making sure to pipette your water only, until the paint reaches your desired consistency (it should fall in loose ribbons that disappear instantly on the surface of the paint).

Are Citadel Paints Worth It?

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Did you Know? Citadel paints are undeniable gorgeous, but also exceedingly expensive. They are very high quality and come in an assortment of colors which other brands just don’t have to offer. So essentially you are paying for the high quality paint, and the awesome array of colors.

Settling for other paints may result in you having to mix multiple colors together to get a similar color that a Citadel paint set would normally come standard with. If mixing paint is not really an issue for you, then looking at less expensive can be to your advantage.

If you are looking to switch to a less expensive, but nevertheless high quality paint brand, then this set of Vallejo Paints are the way to go. Vallejo paints are a great alternative to Citadel, as they too, offer high quality, long lasting paints at a more reasonable price. Vallejo Paints have been around since the 1970’s and are widely known for their high quality acrylic paints.

Final Thoughts

Remember that the general consensus is that most acrylic based paints that you apply to your miniatures can take about 10-30 minutes to dry. This is mainly based on the amount of paint that you use on your models. The thicker the coat, the longer the drying time.

It is highly recommended that you let your paints dry for much longer if you plan on applying additional coats on top of your primary coat. This is most commonly done when applying a black or white base to a miniature before adding colors.

Citadel paints are definitely worth the money due to them being a very high quality paint. They look astounding, and last a long time. There are many other cheaper options on the market, but if you want your miniatures painted with a high quality paint, then Citadel is an awesome choice.

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